A Pleasing Combination: False Roselle and Double Cosmos

I wrote about the cosmos recently when the flowers were just starting to open. Well, they’re coming up full force now and I’m loving them even more. The soft, double blooms have begun to poke through a false roselle (Hibiscus acetosella) plant that is growing alongside — it has proven to be an unexpected combination that I would repeat again.

Eventually, if all goes well, the false roselle will bear its own soft pink blooms. It’s a long season tropical — I started the seeds underneath lights back in January with the hopes that the plant would have enough time to make flowers before the killing frost comes. I am loving this plant in it’s own right, even without flowers. I first encountered it in St. Lucia where my friend David was growing a stand of them. Here it is a struggle to get 7-foot-tall plants — mine are not there yet and may never make it, but even still, it’s been beautiful at every stage. Both the flowers (if they ever come) and the young leaves are edible. They taste a lot like their namesake, sorrel (Rumex acetosa), and have that slightly acidic bite.

I thought I would throw the morning glories in as well since you can see them poking out along the fence. I did not want to grow them. They are a scourge — albeit a pretty one– that was left behind by the former inhabitants of this house. I tried to be rid of them, but after months pulling hundreds of seedlings, I simply gave up. I have to admit that they are nice to look at, especially since I was unsuccessful in seeding my own annual vines (damn squirrels!) and the clematis I put in are still quite young and unproductive.

Enjoy your time now morning glories, because you are out of there come next spring!

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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One thought on “A Pleasing Combination: False Roselle and Double Cosmos

  1. Very pretty combination! The morning glories in back are a good contrast, too. I’ve never actually grown cosmos myself, but even without their flowers, I adore their delicate foliage.

    I’m curious, you started artichokes this year, didn’t you? I seem to remember seeing them in your Flickr account around the same time I started mine. How are those coming along?

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